First brew

Let’s get at it!

So I ordered all my equipment from They had it to me in five days I think. Coming from Mn to Ga is quite the feat. Well done guys. I have later compared prices with other websites like Northern Brewer and More Beer. None can quite compete. Cheaper shipping prices, but higher individual prices just don’t help me on small orders. The equipment kits at Norther Brewer look nicer. Yet don’t include all that Midwest Supplies do.

Irish red ale ingredients

Irish red ale ingredients

Oh how excited I was to brew my first homebrew. One problem! Three straight weeks of business travel for November. I was in the office a total of 4 days for Nov. One Sunday was even a travel day.

So it’s now December. Let’s brew. Red ales are common on store shelves in the month of March. So a Dec. brew date is common. Like we waited to March to drink it?

We learned lots during the first brew. Like in the picture, if you’ll notice the grains are not crushed. We didn’t warm the extract. Yeah, trying pouring a 1/2 gallon of basically glue into a pot in the matter of a few minutes. We added hot water to the jug and poured the rest out. I now warm the extract in a pot of boiling water while the grains are in the kettle.

Irish red ale in secondary

Irish red ale in secondary

I also now do partial mashes instead of extracts. More on that in a later blog. When I add hops I use a grain, or Muslin bag. This keeps the hops out of the fermenter, the secondary and helps for a clear homebrew.

Racking from fermenter to secondary was quite simple. It’s the one step I don’t mind doing at all. It’s quick, simple, not many items to sanitize. Almost fun. Well, it is rather fun to pop the lid on the fermenter and discover what color, also known as SRM, your homebrew has ended up as. Even in secondary it’s sometimes hard to tell the final color in the glass. It’s 4-5 gallons of beer. Hard to get light through that bottle.

We actually rushed this beer to finish. It was good. A ready made kit, and quite easy to start with. In a month we were tasting it. Wow did we think we had done a great job. Man were we way off on that assumption. Don’t get me wrong, the beer tasted great. However there was lots of yeast sediment in the bottles. It wasn’t very clear in the glass at all. But it sure did all disappear quickly.

Irish red ale

Irish red ale

As you can see in the picture we sampled some before it was bottled. Drinking ‘green’ beer is something new to me. Not to Ustun, my coworker from Turkey via Colorado. Colorado is ofcourse the meca of craft beer and home brewing. Green beer is basically a flat beer. It’s precarbonated. So taste can be a bit misleading here. Bottle conditioning can do wonders for a perfectly crafted beer.

I could go on for hours on how this first brew went. If I drank like I did the day we brewed it I’d miss work tomorrow. So we’ll end this blog with this. It’s easy. Homebrewing is for anyone that likes to cook, enjoys a good beer, and doesn’t mind putting some time into what they enjoy doing.


Posted on March 23, 2010, in homebrew and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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